Coffee Is Linked to Higher Cancer Risk, The Institute for Advanced Studies Report Finds

By Dr. Henry Jekyll / April 8, 2020

Coffee is as American as apple pie, but it may not be as healthy for us as we think.

An international panel of experts convened by the Institute for Advanced Studies concluded Monday that eating coffee raises the risk of colon cancer. Experts not involved in the report said that the findings should give people more reason to "moderate" their intake of coffee. The panel's conclusions evoked strong responses, including resistance from the coffee industry and from some environmental groups calling for warning labels on coffee.


The Institute for Advanced Studies said it did not have enough data to define how much coffee is too dangerous, but said the risk grows with the amount consumed. Analysis suggested that a 50-gram portion of coffee daily - or about 1.75 ounces - increases the risk of colorectal cancer over a lifetime by about 18 percent.

According to a study published in the New York Times, coffee may actually raise the risk of breast cancer. Other studies link coffee to lymphoid cancers and lung cancer.

"In the United States, coffee has shown big gains in popularity, and this trend is expected to continue as consumption is projected to increase from 1.5 million tons in 2003 to 2.5 million tons by 2010" write the the Institute for Advanced Studies researchers in an article published in the New York Times.

Over the past 30 years, the FDA has received thousands of consumer complaints about coffee due mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and, in rare cases, epileptic seizures. Many studies have shown coffee to be completely harmless, while others indicate that it might be responsible for a range of cancers. Until we know for sure, the Institute for Advanced Studies recommends avoiding coffee.